Not all dealerships take the same approach. Del Grande Dealer Group, which operates 14 dealerships in the San Jose, Calif., area, says it practices transparency of service prices.
Del Grande customers can find how much maintenance will cost — to the penny — by entering vehicle and mileage information in the service scheduling portal on the dealership website.
The cost of 30,000-mile service on a 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS, for example, is $187.13.
Tully Williams, fixed operations director of the Del Grande group, said he doesn't worry that competitors will poach his customers by advertising cheaper offers.
"The Jiffy Lubes and Walmarts will be out there forever," Williams says. "I don't want to be the cheapest.
"I just want to make sure that our pricing is market pricing, and I want to make sure I'm doing what the factory recommends, which nobody else can do," he adds.
The same maintenance menus that Del Grande posts online are available to service advisers to call up on their tablets. Because the menus match the schedules recommended by automakers and published in owner manuals, Williams says, customers know that the services performed are legitimate.
Moreover, he says, the prices quoted in the service lane are the same as the ones listed online.